QBE FY20 losses top £1bn

The group estimates the impact of Covid-19 to reach almost £500m for the year

QBE Insurance Group has announced a net loss after income tax of £1.08bn for 2020, as the pandemic and global catastrophes continue to take a toll on the group.

The loss represents a year-on-year decline in profits of over £1.5bn, plummeting from the £444m intake seen in 2019.

The group revealed that it endured a £468m negative impact from Covid-19 throughout the financial year, and expects this to rise by a further £93m throughout FY 2021.

Mike Wilkins, chair of the firm, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic coupled with increased catastrophe activity and a shifting global geopolitical landscape provided a challenging backdrop in 2020. 

“Although the lowest point of the crisis may be behind us, the effects of the pandemic are likely to reverberate for some time, creating ongoing uncertainty for our business, our customers and society at large.”

QBE’s gross written premiums did increase 10% during the period from £9.6bn to £10.46bn, with the group’s year-on-year net earned premium rising 4%.

Richard Pryce, interim group CEO, said: “We are well positioned to maximise many of the opportunities created by the currently favourable trading environment. 

“While the value of insurance in managing or transferring risk has never been more evident, we must ensure we receive an appropriate return for the risk we take.”

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